Council approves expenditure and Arts Gallery’s request for modular building

Council fixs rot at District hall and approves modular building for Arts Gallery.

As renovations went on at the District of Hope hall

Council met on Aug. 22 and approved a $22,000 expenditure to fix unexpected deterioration at the District hall and also approved the Arts Gallery’s request to buy and place a modular building subject to certain conditions.

$22,000 to fix District hall

Council will commit up to $22,000 from their 2016 unallocated capital project account to cover the added cost to replace beams, fix rot repair and flooring renovations to the District of Hope office.

During renovations, the District found a few rotting areas that required repair, including seven wood beams supporting the entrance glass canopy, and also the price of carpet tiles came in higher than expected.

“And for anyone from the public critical of us spending money on the District hall, it’s much cheaper to maintain our District hall than build a new one, obviously,” said Mayor Wilfried Vicktor. “I think we unfortunately have no choice in spending money on this issue because things have already been in a bad state for a bit.”

Responding to a question from Coun. Bob Erickson, District operations director Kevin Dicken said the beams were ordered on the week of Aug. 15 and should “be ready” this week.

Council held a telephone poll on Aug. 9 to gauge the support of councillors.

“I’d just like to say thank you for getting on that telephone poll because it’s obviously timely to have the contractors still here and see first-hand what we need to do and save some expense there,” said Coun. Donna Kropp. “The other thing being that the building is looking fabulous. I can’t wait to see that improved pillar structure that would look even better, and colour scheme is awesome.”

Gallery to get modular building

Hope and District Art Council (HDAC) has been approved by council to buy and place a modular building next to the current Arts Gallery, subject to conditions.

The District was informed in July by the HDAC that they could buy an unused modular building that will serve as an alternative to renting the additional spaces they current use to deliver programs such as pottery and oil painting classes.

“HDAC feels it will not have enough funding to pay the ongoing commercial lease rates for the adjacent locations and needs to look at alternatives,” said a report to council.

The building will be placed next to the current Arts Gallery. Council heard that this would allow the Arts Gallery to deliver better and more programs.

HDAC will now need to finalize an agreement with details including moving the building, aesthetics, safety, renovations, payment of utilities, maintenance, ownership framework and costs.

HDAC will apply for a $50,000 grant that will be applied to this project.

Coun. Donna Kropp noted that she wanted to see clear lines of ownership.

“Should the Art Council … dissolve, I’d like very clear lines on who owns the buildings,” she said. “I don’t want to ever see a situation like we have with the Station House in the past where people were arguing and fighting over ownership of land and this and that.

“It’s time consuming and it divides the community.”

HDAC stated they do not want to own the building, but details will be fleshed out with the District.

Kropp also noted that she would like to see a policy for use of public buildings that states how other groups can use that.

“We have a lot of groups in our community, and they all would love to have a building put on public property,” she said. “Once we favour one group and give them a spot on public property, we are kind of opening the door [to a slippery slope].”

Mayor Vicktor agrees with Kropp’s statement that he would like to see concrete ownership rules and also added that “it would be very handy” if the building HDAC would share the building with other groups.